Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunset hike to the Salt Lake Overlook

I needed a hike during my vacation week, which was a stay-cation. I had canceled my hike on Thursday morning, so that I could do some other things that needed doing, but I didn't want my entire vacation to go buy without getting at least one hike in. I decided to try an evening hike to try to catch a spectacular sunset and get some pics. I got off to a later start then I'd wanted. The trail to the Salt Lake Overlook begins up Millcreek Canyon, just east of the Millcreek Inn. There is a trailhead parking lot for the Desolation Trail there. That parking lot and any other bare spot around for a quarter of a mile, was filled with cars. There was a wedding reception at the Millcreek Inn, and the parking for that place itself has only about ten spots, so obviously guests were parking in the trailhead parking lot and everywhere else. I tried driving up the canyon and the only available spot was about half a mile further up. I tried down below and found a spot a quarter of a mile away, but I'd be walking downhill on the way back so it wasn't a bad option.
I started hiking at about 7:15 and made it up to the Overlook by about 8:40. The sun was getting close to the horizon and there were some clouds so I thought it might be possible to get a nice shot. One thing I found out though was that the sun was too far north and would be going down behind a nearby mountain instead of Stansbury Island out in the Great Salt Lake, so a little later in the summer is probably the prime time to take this hike for sunset purposes. Still, even though the sun wasn't where I would've liked it, and the sunset itself wasn't one of those truly amazing spectacles that we all hope to capture with our cameras, I think I got a few pretty decent pics. Here's the one that I liked the best of all that I took:
You can see how it was going down behind the nearby mountain.
I thought I'd hang around a bit and see if I could get a picture of the city lights coming on down below and ended up with this:
Salt Lake lights at dusk
There were some other people up there with me, some teen girls (sisters and friends) and a woman who was mother to at least one of the girls. I left them up at the top and headed down. I strapped on my headlamp and as I walked down the trail, I saw a small speck of flashing green light on the trail. At first, I thought someone had dropped some kind of electronic device on the trail, but as I neared the light I found out that it wasn't anything man-made at all, but my light was reflecting from the eyes of a spider! That was awesome! I found out that the flickering was caused by my movement, not anything to do with the spider's eyes. After that, I saw numerous green flashes on the trail and every time, it was a spider. Once I saw a larger white light down the trail and thought someone with a flashlight was coming up, but that ended up being a bird sitting on the trail whose eyes reflected the light from my headlamp. That was awesome too!
The party at the Millcreek Inn was still happening, as there was a cover band doing all kinds of familiar songs as I approached the bottom of the trail. I was ready to rock out and listened to some hard rock on KBER as I drove home in the cool night air. I turned it down as I rolled into the neighborhood and pulled into the driveway just before 11:00.

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